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When Donald Trump Talks about the Dishonest Mainstream Media, Who Is He Really Talking About?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 17, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 17, 2016 |

Late yesterday, it was announced that Donald Trump had brought in the head of, Stephen Bannon, as his new campaign manager. Earlier today, I characterized Breitbart as a fringe, right-wing website, but “fringe” was the wrong way to describe it, because Brietbart is more popular than most of us on the left would want to believe.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump asked his supporters to fill out a Mainstream Media Accountability Survey, which basically asked his supporters where they get their news and which organizations they trust the most. He’s polling his supporters as a way to combat a “dishonest and totally biased” mainstream media, which he believes is trying to “rig the election.”

But what exactly is the “mainstream” media, the media that reflects “the dominant trend” in politics? Consider this: The conservative website Drudge Report is the second most popular media outlet on the Internet, behind only The Drudge Report gets 1.5 billion page views a month, which is nearly triple the NYTimes. Fox News, meanwhile, is read online by more people than the NYTimes and ABCNews combined.

Is NPR the mainstream media? Because more people read Breitbart than NPR. Infowars, the outlet ran by that loon Alex Jones, is more popular than USNews and World Report, more popular than The New Yorker and The Boston Globe. The Conservative Tribune and are more popular than The AV Club and Vanity Fair.

Trump thinks he’s losing because the mainstream media is being dishonest about him, but where would Donald Trump’s campaign be without “mainstream” outlets like Breitbart, Drudge, Infowars, and fanning conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton?

Trump claims that the polls are wrong, and that the huge crowds he draws at his rallies are proof. I don’t think he’s right, but it does appear that he has larger online media outlets backing him, and that truly is terrifying. No wonder Hillary Clinton is so unpopular with the right — if all they read comes from Breitbart and Drudge, of course they dislike her.